The Astoria, built at 157 Charing Cross on the site of the Crosse & Blackwell warehouse, opened as a cinema in 1927. Its designer, Edward A. Stone, was also responsible for later Astoria venues in the Old Kent Road, Finsbury Park, Streatham and Brixton (now Brixton Academy).
The building’s basement was used as a ballroom dancing salon from 1928, and it was converted for theatrical use in 1977. The theatre closed in 1984, with the Astoria reopening as a nightclub and music venue in 1985.
In its most famous manifestation the venue played host to a wealth of historical musical events, including Richey Edwards’ last gig with the Manic Street Preachers. More importantly, it played host to Del Amitri for two momentous night in November ’98 following the release of the ‘Hatful of Rain’ Best Of album.
Festival Republic purchased the building in 2000, along with its little brother the Mean Fiddler, in an effort to preserve one of London’s most beloved musical institutions.
Nonetheless, in 2009 the property was compulsorily purchased for the Crossrail development, and by October 2009 had been completely demolished. And another home of music history vanished from the map.